Collecting early-season wild blueberries along the wet trail. Sounds: a rushing stream, wind in the leaves, mockingbirds chirp chattering, the soft hum of bumblebees dipping in and out of the laurel blossoms. I take a swig of water. There’s nothing but this, the sun painting patterns onto the trail, the sound of my husbands steps behind me, my breath moving in and out of my lungs, cool water quenching my thirst. And then a sighing breeze tunneling up the side of the mountain at a craggy overlook, where through-hikers have carved their nicknames into the rocks. Starburst, Old Crow, Astronaut.
Logan unzips his pack and pulls out sandwiches, almonds, a cold bottle of unsweet iced tea, a mini bottle of red wine, a bar of chocolate. It’s good to see the valley all green and full of life. It’s a relief, remembering that we humans haven’t yet destroyed all things good and green in this world.
When I go hiking I always bring snacks with me. I call it snack-packing. Because, let’s be real, all of that talk about going on a hike to “connect with nature” and/or “get in some exercise” is a facade for the real reason we go hiking: to eat good food at the overlooks. Pesto sandwiches & red wine just taste better on top of a mountain. Especially after a heady, uphill work-out and all of that heavy breathing. Everyone knows that.